Rock SchulerRock Schuler is the Rector (Pastor) of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland. He has served as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church since 1990 after studying for the priesthood at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was awarded a Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Development in 2002. In the course of his ministry, Rock has served on an Indian Reservation, in rural Wyoming, and in major suburban areas. In addition to pastoring the people of his congregation, he has been involved in community service projects to serve the homeless, refugees, and the addicted. He’s also been involved in international outreach projects in Latin America and Africa. Rock’s spiritual roots lie in the early Christian Church, in Native American spirituality, in the liturgical worship and traditions of the Episcopal Church, and most especially in his own personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ. He appreciates the mystery and mysticism of the Christian faith while offering thanks for a lifelong and joyous love of Jesus. Rock, born in 1965, is from Wyoming, where he served his first two churches. He is married to Jennifer, whom he met while serving a parish outside of Philadelphia, and has two beautiful daughters, Leia and Rebecca. Rock is into science fiction and fantasy (especially "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek," "Lost," and "The Lord of the Rings"), movies, reading, kayaking/canoeing, hiking, and running.
Host: How does worship help us live a fuller life?
Rock Schuler: In my own tradition of the Episcopal Church, we are, what we call, a sacramental church. That means that we believe that Gods Spirit comes to us through specific things; the water of baptism, for instance, or the bread and wine that we use in communion or the olive oil that we use in our healing services. We believe that the Spirit of God infuses these common things and Gods grace, Gods help and loving presence comes to us through them. They are not the only ways that God is present in the world but they are ways that train us to see the presence of God all around us.
So, for instance, when we baptize a child in church and we get that powerful sense of the spiritual through that baptism, we are being trained as parents, as caregivers to see the presence of God in every child. Every time we give our child a bath, we see the holiness of that child and we understand ourselves to be the ministers of God to that child. Or when we gather around the alter for communion and find the presence of God in bread and wine, we are being trained to see the presence of God in the face of every person that we sit across the table from and share a meal with.